The Marriott Bonvoy program provides extra bonuses to those who reach higher levels of status with the program. Starting with Platinum, members are given a choice of the following as an award:
- Five Suite Night Awards™
- Give the gift of Silver Elite status
- 40% off your favorite mattress
- Five Elite Night Credits
- A $100 charity donation
The first time we reached Platinum, I picked the suite night awards. In the ultimate case of beginner’s luck, the first time I tried to use them was at the St. Pancras Renaissance Hotel and our five-night stay was upgraded to a suite in the Chambers Wing of the hotel.
At the time, I didn’t know that this was the exception to the rule and that suite upgrades using Suite Night Awards rarely clear at properties where they’ll provide any benefit.
I figured it was the only time we’d have Platinum status and I was happy that I lucked out. Then 2020 happened and Marriott made it easy for everyone to keep status. That meant that just from our stays in January and February, we earned Platinum status for 2020 and 2021. And THAT means I had to pick an award. But I didn’t pick and Marriott Bonvoy’s default award is the Suite Night Awards.
So we had another five nights of upgrades to use before the end of 2021.
We haven’t stayed at any Marriott hotel all year, so I was happy to see that a hotel I booked offered the ability to apply a suite night upgrade.
I only booked the hotel two nights in advance but a few hours after I applied for the upgrade it cleared. Here’s what I got for our trouble.
Sharon was staying for a night at the Residence Inn Cape Canaveral Cocoa Beach. It’s our preferred hotel to book before she goes deep sea fishing from Port Canaveral. Mainly because I can use a 35,000 point free night certificate to pay for the room (Note from Sharon: Well, that’s HIS main reason. Mine is the full-sized refrigerator/freezer so my freezer packs stay as cold as possible).
I was curious what type of upgrade we’d get.
We got a balcony. A 3′ x 6′ balcony.
Our huge upgrade consisted of the same room we had on our previous stay except for a sliding door which led to a deck with a table and two chairs. In fact, the room was actually smaller than before because the space for the deck was cut out of the living room area.
Things weren’t all bad. Looking over the parking lot, you could see Port Canaveral and the cruise ships parked there. That’s how close this hotel is to the port.
While this wasn’t the best use of an SNA, at least it cleared. That’s better than most people fare when they try to redeem one for a stay. I guess your odds are better when you try to use one for a single night at a Residence Inn on a random weekday instead of for five nights at a big city Renaissance hotel.
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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary